Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day/Sprint Tri Race Report

First off the bat Happy Father's Day to all the Dad's out there.  Now more than ever kids need a good male figure to help them learn and grow.  We hear about all of the bad stuff out there but there a lot of men out there helping build the future generation.  Some may not be dad's but they certainly act the part and should be thanked as well.

So in addition to it being Father's day it was also race day.  And if I am posting a race report the same day as the know I must be super jacked about the race.

HFP Racing has the second stop of their race series at Maumee Bay State Park in Oregon, OH.  With the race being in close proximity to Cleveland (and Toledo, Michigan) the race talent is amazing.

Team Snakebite was gearing up to have a great showing at the race in many different categories.  Tri, Du and Aquabike.  Sprint and Olympic.

There were also people from many other clubs and teams.  Bike Authority Fleet Feet, Spin Second Sole Multisport, Cleveland Tri Club, Grunt Girl Racing, Team Toledo.

Aimee and I left home at 5AM to have plenty of time to get my transition area in place and to set up the tent and team banner.  It also helps to be there early because with some many people there that we know it becomes a social event.

While waiting around for the races to start Big Daddy Diesel comes over to say hi.  It's always good to see him and catch up before and after the race.

About 20 minutes before the race I put on my wetsuit and warmed up in the water. I wanted to see when the water gets deep enough to swim. It would be a fast start because I would be racing the sprint triathlon (750m/23k/5k).

I backed down to the shorter race because I was more prepared for the distance with several great 5k's under my belt so far.

We watched two waves go off before the 40 - 49 men took to the water. As we lined up we joked about who would be drafting off who and no one wanted to be in the front row.  I pulled my teammate Chris up to the starting mat and got ready.  With ten seconds to go I started my watch and dug in.

At the word go we sprinted into the water.  Once the water was up to my knees and I couldn't get my feet over the water line I took two dolphin dives into the water and started swimming.  With the quick start I was breathing every stroke to my right sighting frequently to stay on track.

I was breaking clean water and only saw one person near me. The swim course is rectangular with three buoys on each side.  When I reached the middle buoy I started catching the wave in front of us.  I had to swim around a couple of people but I was past them pretty quickly.  Once switched my breathing to the left side so I could spot the next buoy which would turn us to the left and approximately 300+m into the swim.

After the turn I was able to get into my race breathing pattern.  Another left turn and we headed back to the beach and T1.  This was the first time I was aware of someone from the starting wave passing me.  So until the final results are posted I will say that I was second out of the water from my start wave.

Once I touched sand I stood up and ran towards transition.  I hit the split button of my watch and noticed is was not on stopwatch mode.  I started an interval set so I didn't know my swim split.  No problem, that is what the timing chips are for.

In transition I had a hard time getting my feet out of my wetsuit.  Since getting the XTerra Vortex my feet keep getting stuck. It never happened with my QR suit.  I think a small modification to the leg openings and I will be okay.

After I freed my feet from the wetsuit trap I put on my bike stuff and headed out of transition.  On my bike I changed watch mode and hit the split was somewhere around 14 minutes.  Aimee said I was out of the water/on the beach in 10 minutes. I put on my sunglasses and settled in for the 23k (14.25 mile) ride.

With the watch interval timer running the alarm was beeping at me.  The time was so screwed up I finally stopped the watch all together.  I took the watch off and stuffed it in my Bento box.  I wasn't going to worry about the run splits and just run my ass off.

I passed a couple of people quickly then slowly caught a couple more during the 32 minute ride.  I was only passed by one person, my teammate Chris. He rolled by me and kept on going and had a nice lead on me.  He is a very strong cyclist and not in my age group so I cheered him on.

I had taken a PowerGel (2x caffiene) halfway through the bike to prepare me for the run.  At the pace I was keeping I would need to little extra boost.

As I went back into the park people from the Olympic race were heading out for their 2 loop 40k ride. I saw a couple of friends/teammates.  As I approached the dismount line I took my feet out of my shoes and ran into T2.

Helmet off, shoes on, grab visor and sunglasses and I was out of the transition area.  As I made the left turn under the exit banner I saw my teammate Chris.  I caught up to him as we entered the run course and the MC announced, "Two Snakebite Racers are making the turn onto the run course."  I raised my arms in response and was jacked up for the run.

I patted Chris on the butt as I passed and was hoping we could run together.  After the race he admitted that he had put to much into the bike and couldn't stay with me.  It didn't matter because it is still fun to race with a good friend.

I was putting the hammer down for the 3 mile run around the lagoon.  The course is never far from the race site and people are cheering you on along the path between the parking lot and beach.  I could also see and cheer for friends and teammates.

I caught a couple of people during the first half mile.  Around the 1 mile mark I could hear foot steps behind me.  I thought it was Chris picking up his pace.  The footsteps finally passed me.  I couldn't tell what race this person was in because he was wearing calf sleeves.  I was hoping he was in the duathlon but it wouldn't matter because I couldn't match his pace or stay with him.

More sprint triathletes were returning from the run turn-around so I was trying to gauge my position.  I think I either passed a lot of people on the swim or closed the gap with the two previous waves, I was in a great position. 

As I approached the beach area I saw two Spin teammates, Adam and Bruce.  Right behind them on of our young SBR team member Josh.  He is a rock star running entering his sophomore year of high school.  He was about 50 yards behind Adam and Bruce.  As we ran past each other I told him to catch the guys from Spin.  After the race I was talking with Bruce and he said Josh passed him like he was standing still.  This kid loves to race.

I reached the turn-around for the 5k and tried to maintain my pace as best I could.  I didn't want anyone catching/passing me but I wasn't sure if I could catch anyone ahead of me. 

More sprint triathletes/duathletes were on the course now and I saw more teammates but I just couldn't spare the breath to offer encouragement.  I picked off one more athlete about 400 yards from the finish line and promptly doubled over to catch my breath when I was done.

I had pushed myself harder during the swim, bike and run than any other sprint.  There was a big fear that I would blow up at some point during the run but I managed to hold it together and nail a great race.  I'm still amazing myself as I push the limits further with each race.

After I caught my breath I walked over to the guy who finished right before me.  I said, "Please tell me you did the duathlon".  He said "No".  Then he told me we are in the same age group.....DAMN.  That was okay because he earned the win for the age group because he caught and passed me on the run. Later I was told that he is going to the Sprint Tri World Championships this year.....soooooo he has that going for him.

Until they publish the final results I do not have any splits.  I am very interested to see what my run time was.  My race time was 1:09:33.  This netted me second in the age group and 6th overall of age group athletes.  Even with some of the elite racers added in I may still be in the top ten overall.

And Josh.....he started two waves ahead of me, approximately 4 minutes, and he finished 22 seconds behind me in the overall times.  It was cool seeing his name right below mine in the overall standings.  Of course there is 30 years difference between us and he is just going to keep getting faster and stronger.

I congratulated my fellow triathletes and spent the rest of the morning cheering for all of my friends and teammates.  Snakebite did very well and very likely took home hardware for just about everyone. 

There were some huge PRs put down and some first time distances achieved.  I had more energy after my race was done while cheering for people. 

I have to profess my undying love for Aimee.  She is the best when it comes to cheering, taking pictures, and supporting me on race day.  Plus she cheered for everyone else on that course. 

Race details will be posted once they are posted on the race site.

If you want to see some pictures Aimee took of the race go here.

We packed up our stuff around noon and headed home.  For Father's Day my brother hosted dinner.  Aimee and I got back and took a power nap before getting ready for dinner.  We had a great time together as a family as we laughed about all sorts of stuff new and old. 

Spending time with family and friends.  How can that not make for a perfect day.

Game On my friends.